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You thought I forgot.

I know you did. You thought I’d forgotten, brushed it off as something else I’d just do later or never.

I did put it off, but I put it off to think of just the right things to say.

I still don’t have just the right things to say.

I can’t believe it’s been two years. Two years, and that’s just since we’ve made it legal. Fried brains and scrambled medications and lots of turmoil have taken away a lot from the last few years, but I remember the excitement of that morning two years ago, getting dressed and knowing that I was putting on the dumbest clothes anyone ever got married in but also just not caring at all. I at least remembered to take the camera.

Our life will never really be ours and ours alone, and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with what we are. What we are is beautiful, really. I am reminded of that every time I step out of the shower and hear uncontrollable laughter from the opposite end of the house. Every time I realize how much of a family we have become – all of us, no matter how it looks to anyone else’s standards – I am more thankful. I couldn’t be more happy, or more blessed. There are quirks to everything. We are a series of those, but hey- whatever works, right?

And we work. In every sense of the word. From getting up in the morning and going to work, to working together, to playing Spiderman Memory games in the floor, to watching games of Mario and NBA 2kg4whatever, to sometimes just giving in and acknowledging that okay, maybe sometimes the house CAN be considered “cold” at 74 degrees, we push and we pull and we make things go sometimes against both of our stubborn wills.

I love you. Oh, I do.

I told you just the other night, no matter what, I plan to see this through. What I have for you is unlike anything I’ve ever known before, and I love you more than anything. I’m proud of you, I’m proud of me, I’m proud of us.

Happy anniversary. Here’s to lots more.

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The Graduate

photo(2) It’s like I almost don’t remember you being so small that you “wuh’ed” your r’s or pronounced your sister’s name “Aaaah-vvaaah”, but it doesn’t seem right for you to be so100_4273 big, either.

I’m going to try not to get into the big, sappy, “my-how-much-you’ve-grown” too much, because next month is your birthday, and there’s time enough for that then.

Instead I’m going to focus on just how proud I am of you. On just how far you’ve come.

Josh and I talked the other day about just how amazing you are and how much you’ve accomplished. You’ve had obstacles to overcome in your tiny lifetime, and situations have often not been the easiest for you. You have a sensitive and caring heart, one that is huge for your growing little body, and one that will desperately and devotedly love as you are gifted to know how to do already.

You are brilliant – let me say that again – brilliant. You are also, may I say, awesome. You are the only kid I know who could hold his own with a used car dealer. You are also the only kid I’ve ever known who could successfully convince his teachers to allow him to replace playground time with computer time. You’d probably at this point have managed to successfully combine the two if I’d given you my laptop months ago like you’d asked for. You’d have probably been the only kid at school with a computer bag and a latte. Your teachers have told me over and over what a joy you are to teach, what a smart and inquisitive little boy you are. Mothering magazines and articles have told me over and over that video games and computers and TV all that will make you dumb – well, I will admit it, I’m guilty. What mother can deny her child access to his best friend? I never claimed to be the best mother in the world, and, after all, Mario is your best friend in all the world. But you are as far from dumb as far can be. You are one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and you’re only getting smarter. I will say, though, that I hope you don’t read this for a few years.

Who am I kidding? You’re probably reading this from the playground. I’ll probably get a text from you in a few minutes. “hey mom i rd ur blg. we hv 2 tlk.”

Nevertheless.

I love you so much.

100_4287 I have never ever been so proud of anything or anyone as I am of you. And yes I said that to your sister, but I mean it just as much to you as I did to her. And yes, mothers can do that.

Love, Mom

Dear sweet crazy baby

I’ve put this off because it will make me cry. Every entry this week will make me cry. 100_4232

I don’t know how you do it. You’ve done it every day for the past four years. You become more…you. More of this spectacular little person who amazes me more and more and even more than that makes me look over at the person next to me and mouth, “Did she really say that?”

Right now you are every bit a little girl. You are every bit the little girl that I never was, playing with princess tiaras and dressup gowns where I played with sticks and mud. You like rocks, though, and we count EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Of your 32 rocks every night before bed.

You’ve really gotten into the whole concept of school this year. Going to school, being a part of your class, having friends. You come home every day with a new story to tell, a new song to sing, and when we ask you if you got in trouble or if you had to sit in the “blue chair” (something that is apparently a terrible punishment), you immediately change the subject, like, “Look, Mom, did you know I have toes? Isn’t that amazing? And wait, wait, I think Max may be dying his hair pink. He’s definitely rebelling. You should take care of that. Yep. Nothing to see here.”
photo
We were in the store not too long ago and there was a little girl in the jewelry section getting her ears pierced. You were very interested, and asked all kinds of questions. I dismissed it at first and just answered your questions with, “That’s for big girls.”

But then I realized that you ARE a big girl. You’re at the age where you’re big enough to decide for yourself about a lot of things. As you would say, “I’m big, Mom, I’m four. And I’m pretty.”

Am I ready for that? I’m not really sure. But you’re there. You’re bigger every day, and YOU are certainly ready. You’ve twirled your way on your ballerina toes and – almost without us noticing – you’ve gone from that fuzzy headed, purple binkied baby to a certain, sure, beautiful little girl.

And I’ve never been so proud of anything or anyone.

I love you.

Love,
Mom

Life gave me lemonade, and I can’t imagine why

Lots of things are happening this weekend. Lots.

Well, lots of things are happening on Sunday.
Not much else is happening the other days. Prince Caspian comes out today. That’s important. However, due to the children in theaters and the fact that we avoid that whenever possible – as a matter of fact we avoid OTHER PEOPLE in theaters whenever possible – so we probably won’t see that anytime soon.
Anyway, Sunday.

Max will graduate from kindergarten. In just a couple of months he will be in FIRST GRADE. How did that happen?

Josh and I will have been married for two years on Sunday.  It doesn’t seem that long, and yet it seems so much longer.

And….my sweet baby girl turns FOUR YEARS OLD. Four. I cannot even fathom that. She should still have fuzzy halo hair. And a binky.

We’d planned to try and squeeze in a party but with everything else and the fact that this is the last year we’ll probably be able to get away with it, we’re going to wait and do another joint Ava/Max Birthday Bonanza a la 2007. That was fun, right?
Next week will be a busy post week. Each of these things will get its own post. And pictures. This post is just a warning. A preparation. A reflection. And a musing on how blessed I actually am.

Farewell, dear friend

Friday afternoon, I was unaware of it, but a small part of my life ended.

I visited my neurologist for the first time since 2006, and yes, before you start scolding, I am ashamed.

On a bit of a tangent, though, it’s a completely different animal now, going to the doctor with insurance. To be able to give them a little white card that says, “Yes, I belong to your club,” and for your very existence standing at the counter not to create a flurry of raised eyebrows and out-of-the-ordinary activity. I hope you’re never in the situation, but in conflict I believe that everyone should do it at least one time – be the self-pay patient at a specialist’s office. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Back to the topic.

I went to the doctor because since I’d last seen him, I’d had two seizures, which in the grand world of epilepsy, is not huge. The first one was negligible and barely qualified. The second was … well, more so. I was awake, and historically I haven’t been awake for my seizures. I pitched forward into the floor at work and regained consciousness for the paramedics and a splooshed lip. Two seizures for me was more than I had from my second birthday to my twenty fifth.

I had the seizures because I hadn’t been taking my medicine.

There are lots of reasons I hadn’t been taking my medicine. At first, it was the cost. Then, after my insurance kicked in and instead of $300 the medicine only cost $30, there was a slight internal dilemma. Would the pharmacy honor my insurance with a prescription that was written before the insurance was effective? I was doing okay without the medicine, did I even really NEED it?

And then there was the real problem.

That medicine made me a monster. I’m talking a really hateful person. To my kids, to my husband, to the people I work for. To myself. I would face what would otherwise be a slight agitation, a mild inconvenience – and I would completely lose control. I would cry, sob, moan, and generally be completely convinced that my life was worthless. Over absolutely nothing, basically.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture. After explaining these issues to my neurologist on Friday, he decided to change my medicine. Something which, as odd as it may sound, terrified me. I had hoped he would just give me something to chill me out, rather than introduce me to some other completely unknown drug with new unexplored side effects. At least the demon medicine I knew. I knew it kept the seizures away. Whether or not it made me want to jump in front of WalMart traffic, I knew it did its fundamental job. As weird as it sounds I’d been more comfortable just leaving it cold in the past than I was with the prospect of replacing it with something new.

Anyway, it’s happening. New prescription filled. Dosage slowly increasing.

Which brings me to the point.

One of the side effects of this new medicine (because like all good consumers, the first thing I did when I got in the car after my appointment was break out the iPhone and Google my new drug) is change in taste. Especially, says Wikipedia, diet sodas. Well, I immediately dismissed that as ludicrous and focused instead on the “Alice in Wonderland Syndrome” where things appear to shrink or swell. Really, like acid?? Awesome.

I’m here to tell you, people, nothing has yet shrank or swollen, but starting yesterday, every diet drink I have touched has tasted like Windex.

My world is dissolving on its very axis.

Things will never be the same.